Skin Care Brand Sorry for Mention of Campus Shooting

In sponsored Biore video, TikTok influencer discussed MSU shooting
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted May 24, 2023 1:24 PM CDT
Skin Care Brand Sorry for Mention of Campus Shooting
Michigan State University student Devin Crawford places flowers at The Rock on campus, Tuesday, Feb. 14, 2023, in East Lansing, Michigan.   (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio, File)

Skin care brand Bioré says it's sorry about a sponsored influencer video that critics said trivialized a school shooting. In the video, which was taken down from TikTok but can be seen here, former Michigan State University student Cecilee Max-Brown discusses both her anxiety after the campus shooting that killed three people earlier this year and her use of Bioré's pore strips, with an upbeat tone and product placement that viewers found jarring, the Washington Post reports. She said she was partnering with the brand during Mental Health Awareness Month to "strip away the stigma of anxiety," per CBS.

Critics included Mia Tretta, who was wounded in a 2019 high school shooting in California. "I don’t know why my therapist or docs didn’t tell that Biore pore strips could have helped heal the bullet wound on my stomach, or my anxiety after being shot, or my fear of loud noises, or stop my nightmares, or help me feel ok at school," she tweeted. "Firing them and buying in bulk!" In its apology, Bioré said it should have provided its content creators with better guidance. "We lacked sensitivity around an incredibly serious tragedy, and our tonality was completely inappropriate," the company said. "We are so sorry."

The company did not disclose how much Max-Brown, who has more than 27,000 followers on TikTok, was paid for the video, the New York Times reports. A spokesperson said she had been encouraged "to give her personal, authentic, and unfiltered story" as part of a mental health awareness campaign, but she had not been directed to speak about any specific experience. Max-Brown apologized in a statement on TikTok Monday, saying the video was "strictly meant to spread awareness about the struggles that I have had with anxiety since our school shooting" and she didn't mean to imply that it was something that could be fixed with pore strips. In its apology, Biore asked "that you direct any anger our way, not towards the creators themselves." (More influencer stories.)

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